Thursday, November 29, 2012

HALOS 1,2,3 And 4

3 and 4 just dont have the friendliness of 1 and 2. And by friendliness i mean, the enemy doesn't come up to you and ridicule you after they kill you, and fill your corpse with a few more rounds of lethal insults made of boiling plasma. In 1 and 2 there was more banter, between your troops and and with the enemy. The hunt was always on but so was the fun. And when you failed and got killed, having 8 foot lizards in blue armor trot up to you and insult your dead body in a light hearted gloating way...when you respawned you were even more determined to kill them this time. 1 and 2 bred a sense of determination in you every time you failed to make the lizard men - and the stumpy amphibian dorks and the feral canines with the glowing shields and the gorilla thugs - every time you failed to make them your footstools. After being insulted after the fact this just made you clench your teeth and swear "No computer programmer with slant eyes and his baseball cap on backwards sitting in an office at Microsoft can make a fool of me!" Which very often was not true. But the lizardmens' insults just made those moments when they were true, it made them more likely to be proven eventually wrong. And in the very end, once you had become master of the game and the last laugher at their made some sense.
   None of this happens in Halos 3 and 4. Halo 3 is almost stupifying in its lack of charm. And Halo 4 takes sterile to a whole new level of dazzling superficiality. It's sad, actually. On the other hand, now that the creators of Halos 1 and 2 have been fired: it makes you appreciate the originators of the game even more. When you see that ten years down the road the advances in technology have not been matched by similar advances in spirit and innovation; then the people who made 1 and 2 start to take on a reality in your mind and you appreciate that the talent and spirit of a particular time, or a particular era, can never be duplicated. Like Brigadoon, or a spectacular poppy season in the Antelope Valley, you just have to wait and wait and hope that you are alive when that mechanism for genius erupts again somewhere else so you can see it twice in one lifetime.


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